Lock Talk: Rekey

Rekey

Lock Talk: Rekey is an educational article meant to show and explain how a rekey works. Many individuals call looking for someone to change out all of their locks. Rekeying is the cheaper alternative. Rekeying allows a user to disable the current key and establishes a new operating key.

Revoke Keys For

  • Contractors
  • Neighbors
  • Realtors
  • Previous Owner and Friends

Reasons to Rekey

  • Revoke Access
  • Moving into New Building
  • Lost Keys
  • Stolen Keys

Pin Tumber

Pin tumbler locks operate off of pin stacks. Typically, a lock contains five or six pin stacks. If you want to know how many yours has, count the valleys in your key. Each pin stack contains three components. First, a spring that pushes down on the stack. The spring keeps everything in place. Second, a driver pin which are generally the same size. Third, a key pin which varies in size to match the depths on your key. When the key pins are all lifted to the correct height, the crack between the driver pin and key pin will line up at the shear line and the lock will turn. If the key pins are not lifted to the correct distance,  a pin will prevent the lock from turning.

Correct Key

Lock Talk: Correct Key

Incorrect Key

Lock Talk: IncorrectKey

Key, Master, and Drive Pins

Lock Talk: Pins

Rekey Process

The rekey process involves disassembling the lock down to its base components and swapping out the key pins for different sizes key pins. Then we code cut a new key to match the new key pins. This process effectively ensures the old key will not operate the lock, and only a key with the correct cuts will.

Additional Information

There are some additional factors to consider when getting your locks rekeyed. There are two considerations. First, the drive pins can be replaced with high security pins. These pins operate the same way with the key; however, they make picking lock much more difficult. Although these will not prevent entry, they do increase the difficulty and time it takes. Security pins will be covered in depth in a later Lock Talk.

In addition, you should consider your access control needs. Many individuals give their key to a neighbor so they can watch over the home. The access that you give can be limited and convenient. By implementing a small master system, you can give your neighbor a different key that will only work in certain locks while allowing your key to work everything. The advantages are convenience and their key can be revoked by only rekeying the master locks they can open.

Here are some articles with some additional information:

Wiki - Info on rekeying

WikiHow